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Barded Turkey with Corn Bread Stuffing

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 4-1/2 hours + standing

Makes

16 servings (12 cups stuffing)

As a newlywed, I didn't know much about roasting a turkey. Then our pastor, an excellent cook, told me about barding - placing or tying bacon on the turkey to prevent drying during roasting. The fat bastes the turkey while it cooks, keeping it moist and adding flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 package (14 ounces) crushed corn bread stuffing
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 turkey (16 pounds)
  • 1 pound sliced bacon, divided

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add the stuffing, apples, raisins, butter, poultry seasoning and pepper flakes. Add broth; toss to combine.
  2. Just before baking, loosely stuff turkey. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Place several bacon strips over the turkey.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 1 hour; replace bacon with new bacon strips (discard cooked bacon or save for another use). Bake 3-1/2 to 4 hours longer or until a thermometer reads 165° when inserted in center of stuffing and the thigh reaches at least 170°, replacing bacon each hour and basting occasionally with pan drippings. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)
  4. Cover turkey and let stand for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving. Remove bacon strips before serving.
Editor's Note: Stuffing may be prepared as directed and baked separately in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

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